From smoking to sumatriptan, researchers present important new findings on the impacts of drug metabolism

March 14, 2000

LOS ANGELES -- Pharmacologists from across the country and around the world will offer more than 350 presentations during the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics annual meeting March 15-18 at the Century Plaza Hotel & Tower. They include:

Why do Chinese-Americans smoke less than whites?

It's one of the major curiosities in smoking behavior -- why one smoker is content with one or two cigarettes a day but another craves a pack a day or more. New research from Rachel Tyndale, MD, and her colleagues at the University of Toronto indicates that people with defects in the CYP2A6 gene tend to smoke about one-third fewer cigarettes per day than people without the defects. People with CYP2A6 defects metabolize nicotine slower, so they don't smoke as much. Neal Benowitz, MD, and colleagues at the University of California at San Francisco report that slow metabolism of nicotine due to CYP2A6 defects may explain why Chinese-Americans smoke less than whites. (Oral presentations)

Sweet News for Sickle Cell Anemia Sufferers

The artificial sweetener aspartame has been reported to be effective in counteracting the effects of abnormal hemoglobin that reduce oxygen in red blood cells, causing sickle cell anemia. However, appropriate doses for clinical use have not been determined. In a new study of 24 patients, researchers from Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center have determined an amount that remains effective for eight hours or longer. The findings are good news for sickle cell anemia patients, as few treatment drugs are available. (Poster PI-55).

Quick Relief for Adolescents with Migraine

Adults plagued by migraine headache have been able to obtain quick relief with a nasal spray of the drug sumatriptan since 1997. But that doesn't help the 8 million children and adolescents who suffer from migraines since clinicians have been uncertain about amounts of the nasal spray that safely can be given to adolescents. Their other alternative is receiving the drug by injection. In a study of 21 youths aged 12 to 17, researchers from the University of Tennessee and GlaxoWellcome Research have determined that adolescents can safely take the same amount as adults. (Poster PI-58)

Founded in 1900, the ASCPT consists of over 2200 professionals whose primary interest is to promote and advance the science of human pharmacology and therapeutics. The Society is the largest scientific and professional organization serving the discipline of Clinical Pharmacology.

To view full abstracts go to: http://www.ascpt.org/abstracts
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K-M Communications

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